Need motivation to make better health and fitness choices daily? We all do. Welcome to a site loaded with creative, practical tips geared to motivate. Here you'll find essential Pilates principles made fun and simple to enjoy applying everyday.

Best Ab Workout…Without Working Out!

 

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Nobody thinks they’re breathing wrong. However, breathing wrong makes us ugly, stressed, crooked and looking insecure. Also, we would all have hotter abs if we did it right. Everyone knows the little things mean a lot. Who wouldn’t want a flower from their loved one every day? Or a genuine smile? These small things make for cementing a solid foundation. The same is true of our bodies. This is why I break down the human breath into even smaller units worth isolating and talking about separately, inhales and exhales. I realize this makes people crazy impatient. Aren’t there better things to learn about? We’ve been doing this breathing thing, like…forever. We got it down, right? Most of us don’t.

So bear with me, and remember that breathing wrong makes us ugly, while I break down that exhale into even smaller units. Every exhale has a beginning, middle, and an ending worth thinking about from time to time. Think of an olive. You can smush it and in the end you just have a smushed olive. But if you apply the right pressure to it, we get something more valuable…olive oil.  Applying thoughtful pressure while we exhale to our abdomen will yield valuable results, too.

EASY GOAL FOR EVERYONE

Daily we have moments of anxiety, mild nervousness, upset, frustration or anger and naturally gather stress in your shoulders and neck…often. So try to stop and think as you feel those emotions coming on, and do this… Inhale slowly picturing air stretching muscles from the top to bottom of your back, then exhale out of your mouth slowly focusing on this:

1. Beginning exhale: contract your lowest abdominals between the hip bones.

2. Middle exhale: contract center just under the ribcage

3. Ending exhale: squeeze upper abdominals hugging the ribs forcing every vestige of air out. Hold a moderate contraction for the next inhale and try to contract harder from the bottom up the next time. Aim to be concious to do this 10 times a day for a week. That’s it. It feels sooo right.

WHY THIS WORKS

It takes moments you hate and makes them moments you can like. You will enjoy doing this. This will change your crazy knee-jerk reaction to someone cutting you off on the road from mindlessly screaming at someone who can’t hear you to…”Hmmm time to strengthen myself from the inside out right now.” Truly immediate gratification. It feels powerful. You’ll feel your abs getting stronger and energized as you do it. You also look confident rather than crinkled. You made the stressor your slave and not your master.

Doing this long term, will give you stronger abs and will contribute to a more flexible back and hips, and relaxed necks and shoulders. You will do this more naturally in everyday movements like taking out trash and emptying the dishwasher, that eventually strain the back and injure it, and you flip them to making them ab strengtheners and back protecting moves. You will believe me when you shovel snow and the next day you actually have good abdominal pain and not bad back pain! Oh, it will happen. An ab workout that will happen almost automatically.

So our inevitable stressors can make us have hotter abs. Harness it.  Like a skilled archer we point it in the right direction, enjoy when we hit the targets. Keep enjoying your skill.  And, hopefully, we’ll also run for the tiramisu a little less often, too! Now that’s success.

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